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Report - Paris Catacombs (France), July, 2010

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by thecrazyfool, Jun 14, 2011.

  1. thecrazyfool

    thecrazyfool 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

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    Paris Catacombs, July, 2010

    Ok guys here is my report on my exploration to one of the catacomb sections in Paris. First off, to the moderators, I’m sorry if this is in the wrong section of the forum. As I’m still a new member to 28 days later, I can only post in the new members report forum, and as this was a visit to one of the Paris catacombs last year, I want others to see the section of the catacombs I visited, so feel free to move it in the appropriate section! Thanks!


    History:

    As most people here know, Paris has a vast network of catacombs under its streets. If you speak to anybody most think of the tourist one where the bones of the dead are held. However there are approximately 280kms of tunnels that are not open to the public and of this network I visited one section in late July 2010 with three French friends.


    Exploration:

    Ok, this was my first ever urban exploration in my life. I was in Paris last year for work and my French friends invited me to explore the catacombs under the city i.e. the non-tourist ones, after working hours.

    My friends had been exploring all sections of the catacombs in the past and had even been to an new year party there, where the French police raided although they managed to escape, So having nothing to do and having already explored the tourist bits, I jumped at the chance at doing something different!

    Thankfully all of them told me about this visit when I was in London so I bought my trusty SLR and my flashgun for the adventure!

    So, on one late sunny June evening, we first tried to enter one of the sections near the Place d’Italie, but found that it was alarmed so visited this section near the Eiffel tower and spent approximately 5-6 hours at night there, even bringing a KFC bargain bucket to eat!

    Here are the pictures of that visit with various commentaries:

    The crew. I'm sat down.

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    One of many tunnels in this section

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    This must be one of the only dustbins in the whole of Paris that doesn’t get empty, although all the rubbish seems to end up there.

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    In the section, there was a stairwell that led up to the surface.

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    On the way up a chain blocks our way

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    A manhole cover leading to the surface around the Eiffel district. Three of us tried to see where it opened to but couldn’t lift it! It was stuck and it weighed a ton!

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    Top of the stairwell, around the corner, the temperature dropped like a rock. There was a thermal layer near the top of the stairwell. Below it was nice and cool and above it steaming hot, like a sauna. Really incredible.

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    During the visit to the section, we located one of Paris’s nuclear bunker. One of my friends had told me one of someone he knew had attempted to break into it but was caught by the police as it was alarmed.

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    However, as you can see people are trying to by pass the alarm by digging around the main entrance. Here are some close-ups.

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    Inside this section of the catacombs, there were several support pillars, all had graffiti on them. Some sections we could hear the mild vibrations of the underground above.

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    This plaque was inside the cavern. It dates to the 19th century. Unfortunately my French is too bad to translate it! I only know key words, like beer and how to swear!

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    Here are some of the caverns in this section of the catacombs. I’m still not sure what they were used for.

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    At the end of the evening, we found one of the caverns where they hold parties, usually in the new year. We decided after a few hours exploring to eat our KFC bucket (which I paid on company expenses!) and had 2 bottles of wine to wash it down with!

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    After our nosh, instead of parties we finished the night with a game of French bowls. Sorry guys, I lost the game against the French!

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    We left at 3am and I didn’t get back to my hotel until 4am, having to start work at 8am that day. A great evening and worth staying up for! I'll try to visit some different sections later this year when I'm sent back to Paris for work.
     

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